Black Box, Amplified


Dear Friends, Collaborators, Supporters & Colleagues,

I’m thrilled to announce an amplified commitment to the vision of Black Box in 2016! 

This year, the festival will incorporate a broader conceptual framework, energetic partner program format, and expanded online project site.

Aligned closely with Aktionsart’s mission, Black Box is designed to remain in permanent beta mode. The festival is responsive and adaptive to the transitory nature of emerging technologies and the shifting landscape of contemporary art. Each year, the festival format evolves through the continuous development of institutional, curatorial and corporate partnerships.

The core changes outlined below are a direct result of audience and participant feedback from past festivals, collectively illustrating an urgent community demand for substantial arts and technology programming.


You asked us to move the dates and we listened! The new festival is shorter, tighter, and will take place in the fall. 

Black Box 3.0: September 21 - October 2, 2016

Conceptual Framework

Black Box explores how digital media and emerging technologies are transforming the arts, culture, and public life. Since 2014, the festival has been situated within the Seattle International Film Festival and focused on contemporary artists who expand the language of cinema.

Due to thriving community demand for arts and technology programming, the festival is expanding beyond the previous emphasis on film and cinema. This context has proved to be an unnecessary restraint.

Black Box is now simply an international arts and technology festival.

This new framework presents extraordinary opportunities to support projects that move across a myriad of disciplines. The festival will continue to present film and video work, but will incorporate a more diverse slate of programs that seamlessly integrate visual art, media, music, sound, performance, architecture, design, fashion, and more.

There is no overarching festival theme beyond the umbrella of “arts and technology”, which is intentionally open. Key concepts will emerge from the open call and unfold through festival and partner programs, exhibitions, screenings, projects, discussions, workshops, installations, performances, and hybrid formats. Attention will be closely paid to intellectually rigorous and socially urgent ideas, emerging technologies, and experimental projects that present new modes of creating and thinking. Black Box is a place for creative and critical ideas.

Technology disrupts the arts, but how do the arts disrupt technology? What is the role of artist and creator in an increasingly mechanized world? How can artists leverage new tools to produce, distribute, create access, and build audiences for their work? How does technological innovation and disnovation shape public life?

Partner Program

Black Box will continue to closely collaborate with a selective partner network of Seattle’s most adventurous businesses, organizations, and institutions.

For the first time, Black Box is initiating an open call for artists, projects, venues, and partner programs. There is abundant creative energy brewing below the surface of Seattle, and I expect that this open call will release untapped talent, resources, and opportunity.

Online Project Site

Last year, the Black Box online program - Fullscreen - presented new video and digital art, streaming content, mobile, and interactive projects. The site received over 25,000 visits in just a four week period. This program will continue to develop in 2016, transporting the festival to audiences around the world.

I founded Black Box with the intention of building an international platform for new work and ideas from the most creative, talented and innovative artists, designers, engineers, curators, technologists, hackers, and makers in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Already an indispensable element of Seattle’s ecosystem, Black Box continues to be a vital barometer for our burgeoning arts and tech environment. 

The rippling effects of Aktionsart and Black Box throughout the community are markedly visible. Thanks to our invaluable partners, volunteers and advocates for your support over the past two years! I greatly look forward to seeing what transpires at Black Box 3.0.

The open call for artists, venues, and partner program proposals is now live. Review the opportunities and guidelines to determine which application is most appropriate for your participation, then be sure to submit it by 5PM PST on May 31, 2016:


Julia Fryett
Founder, Aktionsart